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2014 a New Moon and a Fresh Start

January 9, 2014

By Chris Erwin

I usually spend my New Years Eve at a party with friends, and I always enjoy doing that. However, this year I wanted to bring in of the New Year at Cave Run Lake where I have a little camp. It’s a little off-the-grid place where I spend most of my spare time exploring new ways to be self-reliant. In this fast pace world where everything is wired or button driven, we stay connected to everyone all the time and we live our lives and share it through social media, we are about as connected to the grid as you can be.

As many of you know, I am a tech-o nut. I build and repair computers, I write my own programming for them, and I have an online magazine.  So it needs to be said, I’m not someone who rejects our new connected lives. However, I find that taking time to be unconnected, with no electric, no gas, no water and no phone gives me a new perspective on life — one where you need to be able to take care of yourself.

The Popin Rock area of Cave Run Lake as seen from the camp of author Chris Erwin on New Years Day 2014. (Photo by Chris Erwin).

The Popin Rock area of Cave Run Lake as seen from the camp of author Chris Erwin on New Years Day 2014. (Photo by Chris Erwin).

I’m not a prepper. (For any of you wondering what a prepper is, it’s someone preparing for doomsday.)  However, as an outdoorsman, understanding and knowing long range survival skills is something I want to know about. Having my little “off-the-grid” camp is part of my learning curve. For the last four years I have been perfecting how to provide everything that is needed to live without any of the grids we are so connected to.

This includes providing my own electricity, water, gas and some form of communication. While preppers are getting ready for some doomsday event, for me, it’s just a decompression place, where I can step back and forget about the busy world of streaming feeds and connected challenges and focus on a simpler time where you are your own solution.

While I have been writing, “Camping Kentucky,” a book that will be out next year by Falcon Guides, I have also been looking at “off-the-grid” families all over the state.  I’ve studied how they make it work, along with the little inventions they have put together to make their lives more normal than you might think.

With all this going on, I felt it was a good time to test how well I could make it a few days, when the temperatures were going to be 20 degrees at night. This was also the first time in 18 years we had a new moon on New Year’s Eve.

When I made it to the lake, I had a few surprises. My water, which is stored in a 325-gallon storage tank and then runs to an on-demand battery driven pump, was frozen. And my four-wheeler was so cold it wouldn’t start until I charged the battery, which took about 20 minutes.

I did, however, have plenty of wood cut and split so getting the wood stove going was a warm feeling in more ways than one.

We watched the new moon as it passed over us. A little cinnamon moonshine provided a little kick as we listened to the radio to ring in the New Year.

On the first of January, I spent the day exploring the hills on my four-wheeler. The woods look barren this time of the year, however, a closer look and you see nature is indeed alive. On this brisk morning looking out over the lake, I too felt alive!

Happy New Year!

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